Arm has bought a minority stake in Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi, known for its microcomputers powered by Arm CPUs, has entered into a strategic partnership with Arm, the semiconductor and software design company. Arm has acquired a minority stake in Raspberry Pi, with the specific terms of the deal remaining undisclosed.

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This partnership signifies an alignment of interests between the two companies, especially concerning the rapidly growing Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. Arm aims to expand its presence in the IoT domain, where high-performance IoT devices are increasingly crucial, driven by the proliferation of edge and endpoint AI applications.

Paul Williamson, the senior vice-president and general manager of Arm’s IoT division, emphasized the significance of platforms like Raspberry Pi, which are built on Arm architecture, in advancing high-performance IoT adoption globally. These platforms enable developers to innovate more swiftly and efficiently in the IoT space.

Raspberry Pi’s low-cost and versatile computers have been adopted by numerous IoT developers for various applications. A report by The Register highlighted that since 2020, more than half of all Raspberry Pi devices are being employed for industrial and commercial purposes. While this focus on industrial partners has likely expedited the growth of the platform, it may have made it more challenging for students and hobbyists to access Raspberry Pi computers at retail prices.

This strategic partnership may also be driven by the emergence of RISC-V, an open-source processor design with the potential to facilitate chip development and reduce manufacturing costs. RISC-V has garnered the attention of tech giants such as Qualcomm and Google, who are developing RISC-V platforms for Wear OS devices. Furthermore, several companies are adopting RISC-V CPUs in their products, posing potential competition to Raspberry Pi.

Arm has recognized RISC-V as a possible threat to its business. In a pre-IPO filing, Arm acknowledged that increased market support for RISC-V might lead customers to choose this free, open-source architecture over its products. The investment in Raspberry Pi could serve to fortify its position in the single-board computer market and mitigate the competitive challenge posed by RISC-V alternatives.

By partnering with Arm, Raspberry Pi aims to continue providing innovative and cost-effective solutions to both industrial and consumer markets while securing its place in the evolving landscape of computing and IoT. The strategic investment by Arm signifies a deepening collaboration between these two influential players in the tech industry.